Standards, at Your Service

If you’ve walked through a door, used a water faucet, or scrolled on your phone today, there’s a high chance that you have encountered standards without even realizing it. Standards are much like gaskets: they are everywhere but we don’t even realize their importance until they cause trouble. They are still very much one of the backbones in our modern society and have been around at least since the building of the Cheops pyramid

Time for practicality

An excellent example of the practicality of standards is the creation of standard time in the late 1800s. The need for a standardized reference of time arose as railroads developed and enabled fast travel between cities. Before, traveling took several hours or days so a few minutes’ difference between the solar time in each city caused very few issues. As hardly anybody wants to be on a train on the same track as a train moving in the opposite direction, standardizing came into play. 

Less hassle, more efficiency 

In addition to preventing railroad accidents, standards have been very useful in enhancing industrial efficiency. A world without standards would be even more of a hassle the one we have today. Barely anything fits together these days, but through standardization at least something fits and the need to start everything from scratch is reduced.

You may remember that two decades ago each mobile phone had its own charger cable, and if you were running low on battery, borrowing the correct charger from a friend was not a trivial task. Nokia’s de facto standards of course ruled by market share but were not adopted by other manufacturers. 

Standards for abstract concepts

Today, thanks to the persistent work of standardizing groups (and some EU bureaucracy), we finally have only two different charging cables, and in 2024 mobile phones and electronics will all start using USB-C exclusively.

But again, the power of standardizing reaches beyond the component level. It helps us compare different entities in more abstract terms as well. An example of this are the different system-level standards for business management. It’s one thing to say that we take care of quality than to say that we are ISO 9001 certified in our quality management. Globally acknowledged preconditions make it easier to identify potentially trustworthy partners without months of auditing. 

Standardized partnership

This is one of the reasons why TT Gaskets is certified in quality management (ISO 9001), environmental management (ISO 14001) as well as in occupational health and safety (ISO 45001). The certificates speak for themselves as we (sometimes timid) Finns try to relay to our large global customers that we have everything under control. And the standards are merely a baseline for our operations that is in most often exceeded by a wide margin.

We at TT Gaskets are not just utilizing the standards for our own benefit – we are also doing tedious standardizing work behind the scenes. We have decades of experience in standardizing especially on a national process industry level at PSK. I am currently a part of an expert group working on a standard for installing flange gaskets, and I’m trying to infiltrate other working groups as well.

If you’ve ever come across a standard document, you might agree that it is almost unbelievable that someone has written the things out in such detail – no wonder it takes years to complete a standard. Still, it’s a gift that keeps on giving because you always find something new to standardize. But somebody must do it and we are happy to do so to provide Smarter Sealing for a Standardized Tomorrow